Alexander Ermochenko

Alexander Ermochenko

Based
Donetsk, Ukraine
Born
Stachanov, Ukraine
Status
Photographer
“The importance of photojournalism is in its ability to empathize different emotions with people who are depicted in the photo.”

Beat

Conflict, breaking news and documentary stories.

One Shot

. Donetsk, Ukraine. Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko
Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk.
“My favorite image is from January of 2015. The level of violence in the Ukrainian conflict was increasing every day. The most important location was Donetsk airport; the frontline was situated at the outskirts of Donetsk. It was very hard to work there, because artillery fire was almost non-stop. In addition, DPR militants donā€™t want to see journalists. After three hours of conversation with different field commanders and soldiers, they passed me to the front. After a while, I saw a tank with militants on a board, which was changing position for shooting. I like this image because it is simple. There is no unusual angle or another photography method, but anyone looking at this picture can clearly understand something cruel is going on.”

Profile

My father took photos and developed black and white film by himself. Sometimes he let me click the shutter. I liked the sound of the old Soviet rangefinder camera, the Zorkiy (Vigilant).

I learnt to photograph by myself, with the help of Google. Using the internet, I studied the work of classic photographers, like Robert Capa, Don McCullin and James Nachtwey. Later, I started to watch news feeds of top agencies and discover for myself contemporary photojournalists.

I became a photographer to meet interesting people and observe historical events with my own eyes. In addition, it is very interesting to visit a variety of places I would never have been without being a photographer ā€“ from sport competition to frontline conflict.

Covering the Eastern Ukrainian conflict for me is a proficiency test. These events influenced me both as a photojournalist and as a person. From one point of view, it is big historical news and I am proud to cover them. But from another ā€“ great sorrow of my Motherland, and I wish these events had never happened.

Any kind of assignment is like a challenge for me. So I try to do different kinds of photography. Documentary stories need more thinking, but shooting breaking news is about reflexes and fast interacting. Both kinds are available in hostile environments, which interests me the most.

The importance of photojournalism is in its ability to empathize different emotions with people who are depicted in the photo. In addition, it is a window into other cultures.

Be passionate for your work, keep your mind open for new experience and never give up. And, of course, take a lot pictures

Behind the Scenes

. Donetsk region
Alexander Ermochenko takes pictures of DPR militants at frontline not far from Kominternovo (Donetsk region).